I had intended to try to gain access to the Excise Office today, but I realised that I hadn't yet found the rooms and offices housing the rest of the employees of the Custom House. After passing through the large office of the Acting Inspector-General ~ who you will remember was temporaily indisposed ~ I noticed a small wrought iron spiral staircase ascending into the blackness of the roof void. At the bottom was a small notice "SEARCHERS etc" ~ I decided to try and find this ellusive band of workers, and climbed into the darkness. At the top a small door opened into the roof space and seated around small desks lit only from grime covered roof lights, were the following Searchers, Landing-waiters, Gaugers and Coast Waiters. These were divided into three classes.
First Class: Messrs. William RIGBY, J. O. BRIDGE, G. HOSKINS, T. ASPINALL, William GREEN, Peter PLATT, Richard SAMPSON, Thomas PRESCOTT, Edward PATTEN, Edward SUTTON, William MOSS, T. ASHTON, J. D. THORNTON, William HOUGHTON, Richard JENKYNS, William LENOX, Peter ASHCROFT, William MAY and R. M. BENSON. Second Class, which boasted just one woman amongst it's number! William LACE, John BRADLEY, J. R. ASHE, H. NEWTON, Joseph TURNER, John ROBERTS, Thomas BLOXOM, Henry BRAMLEY, Thomas WINTERSGILL, Thomas HUGHES, Thomas GARDNER, Edward CROW, Leigh LYON, Henry GREEN, Florence EGAN, James BENNETT and John HAYTON. Third Class: Henry MERCER, Hugh MacSHERRY, Walker WRIGHT, James GRUNDY, William LEIGH, James REID, Charles TOTHILL, William GREEN [junior], William ABRAHAM, Thomas ROBSON, Felix DORAN, T. W. CATTERALL, Philip QUIRK, Roger LEIGH [junior], William FAIRCLOUGH, Stephen GRUNDY and Charles CLARKE. note ~ Six of the above-named officers are selected to fill the office of Searchers.
Having passed the time of day with Charles Clarke at the end of this dismal garret, I was just turning to leave, when I noticed yet another small door leading, it appeared, onto the roof. However, it lead onto a somewhat rickety wooden bridge which crossed a small alleyway at high level and disappeared into an most uninviting stone building adjacent. As this housed several 'sundry' officers I thought I would cross and see which unfortunate souls had to live out their working existence in this dilapidated structure! I found quite a motley gathering of people there.
Timber Measurers ~ Joseph RICHARDSON and William GOODWIN. Jerquer ~ Bryan BLUNDELL Inspector of River ~ William JAMES Tide Surveyors ~ J. FERNYHOUGH, Henry CHARD and Robert BEEDLE Superintendent of Quarantine at Brombro' ~ Charles MONK Acting Tide Surveyor at Hoylake ~ J. BOND Yard Keeper ~ Anthony GODBER Receiver of Light Dues etc., Receiver of Greenwich Hospital Money, Merchant Seamen's Hospital Money, and Skerries Light Duties ~ Scrope COLQUITT Esq.. Receiver of the Northern Lights and Small Duties ~ Thomas WOODWARD note ~ The Receiver of the Irish and Trinity Light Dues is the Collector of the Customs, for the time being.
This long trek through the bowels of the Custom House, has left me
somewhat dirty and exhausted, so I am wandering home to write a request to gain entry into the Excise Office in Hanover Street as I understand they do not like strangers snooping around the building!
Bye for now, once I have carried out my search for more relatives in
the Excise Building, I will get a bit of fresher air [if the fog lifts] and
have a walk round some more streets.
Bye for now, once I have carried out my search for more relatives in the Excise Building, I will get a bit of fresher air [if the fog lifts] and have a walk round some more streets.